Warmer temperatures and long summer evenings naturally make us think more about our outdoor spaces. Whether you're styling your summerhouse, conservatory, patio or poolside, here's how you can make your outdoor space as cosy and comfortable as your interior.
Start by contemplating how you will be using your space. Do you simply want a place to sit and read a magazine or are you looking to create an area for al-fresco dining and entertaining ? If you have a large garden or patio, think about zoning the space into different areas for relaxing, dining, entertaining or sunbathing, considering whether your garden is south or north facing and where and when the various zones are in full sun. This will also help you decide on what shade you might need.
Consider outdoor lighting
Tealights and church candles, either real or imitation work brilliantly outdoors and there are are wide range of stylish lanterns and candle holders available to add cosiness in the twilight hours. The trend for festoon lighting has prompted the emergence of a variety of string lighting designs both mains and solar powered which can be left out all year round to provide sparkle and atmosphere to an outdoor space.
Festoon lighting looks attractive strung between the beams of a wooden canopy to add glow above a seating or dining area. Solar stakes are ideal for adding ambient light and are particularly effective for up lighting larger shrubs and trees or marking our pathways. Keep all outdoor lighting soft to maintain a cosy feel.
Bring the inside out
Make your garden or patio an extension of your interior style by dressing your outdoor furniture with a selection of accessories and cushions in a colour palette drawn from your interior decor. This works especially well if you have bi-folding doors where you want to seamlessly blend an indoor and outdoor space. Try mixing up patterned and plain fabrics and textures in tonal shades picked out from a colour inside your home to provide the link.
Layers or cushions add comfort, style and colour. Keep it practical by opting for fade and shower resistant outdoor cushions and upholstery in plain colours and textures and add accent designs for interest. The addition of throws in the same colour palette will add a decorative touch and be readily available for keeping out the chill in as the sun sets and temperatures drop.
Consider the seating you need
If you're investing in new furniture for your garden or patio there is such a wide choice now available, from neat bench seating to luxurious rattan upholstered styles. Think about how much space you have and how many people you want to be able to seat and carefully plan the position so the furniture works within the area.
Simple bean bags offer a fun and affordable option to add additional seating for parties or teenage get togethers. Perfect for use on decked areas, a group of beanbags have the added benefit of introducing colour and pattern to brighten your outdoor space.
Add style to your outdoor dining with colourful textiles
Set the table with a stylish table runner - a simple addition that will add a splash of colour or pattern as the foundation for outdoor table scaping.
Continue your colour theme and add table mats, napkins, cushions and accessories to layer up your table. Of course, al fresco dining wouldn't be the complete without a barbecue. Finish of your look perfectly with aprons and oven gloves in matching colours.
We'd love to see how you have styled your outdoor space this summer ? Tag your pictures with #mcalistertextiles